First $100 million budget passed
The Board of Governors passed the institution’s first $100 million budget during its regular March 29 meeting. The budget will create additional capacity for international and domestic students and provides additional financial aid support for students at each of the four campuses.
The 2016-17 budget features the opening of the new Trades building on the Kelowna campus, the allocation of additional FTE staff members in the financial aid and the finance departments to assist ABE and ESL students as they apply for bursaries and grants, FTE instructional positions to create increased capacity for both domestic and international students, including additional FTE staff members for international recruitment, and the addition of a digital content and social media specialist to Public Affairs. The budget also includes an enhanced commitment for facilities upkeep and maintenance.
“Through collaboration between departments, through dedication, through looking at opportunities Okanagan College has found ways to continue to grow access and support our goal of diversifying the institution,” explained President Jim Hamilton.
For more information, read the press release.
Kelowna runners dominate College’s 14th Half Marathon
It was a race to the finish line under sunny Okanagan skies at the annual Half Marathon, 10 KM and Relay Race on Sunday, April 3. Kelowna runners led the way: Brad Bickley finished first in the men’s half marathon at 1:12:24 and Gina Tranquada finished first at 1:29:55 in the women’s division.
Local lawyer, and last year’s women’s 10K record breaker, Christy Lovig uniquely tied her record time once again finishing the race at exactly 36:48 in both 2015 and 2016. UBC Okanagan’s cross-country team swept the men’s 10 K, with Sam Goodrich finishing first at 35:49.
The half marathon relay was won by five-runner team “Your Pace or Mine?” in 1:47:58.
The post-race food is always a highlight. Runners were treated this year to a delectable buffet of freshly baked berry scones, peanut butter and jelly muffins, vegan and gluten-free brownies, hazelnut truffles and trail mix created by the College’s Pastry Arts students.
Without the countless volunteers, the race could not go one. “We had the largest number of volunteers ever for the race this year so it was very well run and things went off without a hitch,” said race director Christine Ulmer.
Complete race results are available online. View a gallery of photos on Facebook and read the press release for more details.
Residential Construction students at work
on Living Lab homes in Wilden
An energy-efficiency research project involving students from Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan officially broke ground on March 31. Known as the Wilden Living Lab, the project will see two very unique homes constructed on neighbouring lots in the Wilden subdivision.
The “Home of Today” will be built to current building code standards, while the “Home of Tomorrow” will incorporate sustainable features such as a geothermal heat pump, water-saving toilets and faucets, triple pane windows, and photovoltaic solar panels, to name a few.
A class of 17 students from the Residential Construction program will participate in the build over the next three months, working side-by-side with tradespeople from AuthenTech Homes. Once the homes are completed and sold, researchers from UBC’s School of Engineering will use sensors built into the homes to monitor the energy use of both dwellings for a period of three years.
Read the UBCO press release to learn more about this exciting initiative.
Camp OC: registration open and Employee tuition waiver
Camp OC is offering more than 100 camps this summer over an eight-week period at the Kelowna campus and is anticipating over 1,500 registrations. The Vernon and Penticton campuses joined in the Camp OC adventure last year, and will once again offer educational, fun camps for their communities. The Continuing Studies programming has seen incredible growth since it launched in the summer of 2004, then with only 70 kids enrolled in about 10 camps.
As usual, College employees are able to register their children and grandchildren at a 10 per cent discount. New this year, on the Friday before a particular camp begins, employees can take advantage of a 50 per cent tuition waiver with certain criteria being met, including if a camp has reached minimum registration, but not yet met the maximum. Review the criteria to learn more (also found in myOkanagan under OC Express Forms).
Visit www.campoc.ca for more information and the full lineup of camps. The website will be updated as scheduling for Vernon and Penticton are finalized. If you have any questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year, courses for Grade 10-12 students will also be offered at the Kelowna campus. Check out the www.teenoc.ca website for more info.
New Salmon Arm diploma option maps ties between information and geography
Students in Salmon Arm keen to understand computer-based mapping and information integration will be able to take the new Geographic Information Science option in the Earth and Environmental Studies Diploma program starting this fall.
“Paper maps are outdated as soon as they are printed. Digital maps overlain with interactive information are like living objects, leading you to decisions on where things happen, how frequently they happen, when they will or might happen, and who or what is making them happen,” explains Salmon Arm professor Dr. Andrew Perkins.
Students will learn with hands-on opportunities to work with tools of the trade like GPS (global positioning system) and UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles). The program blends theory and technology to provide graduates with a credential that will open career doors in a number of fields, including urban planning, local government, mining, forestry, resource management, or surveying.
An information session focused on the program is being held May 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the Salmon Arm campus. For more information read the press release.
Provincial funding spurs program for Health Care Assistants in Princeton
With funding from the Province’s Ministry of Advanced Education, Okanagan College will offer a new Health Care Assistant program in Princeton this year, providing education for eight students in the six-month certificate program.
Okanagan College will receive $90,000 to support delivery of the program, which is anticipated to start in September.
“There is significant demand within our region for Health Care Assistants,” notes Yvonne Moritz, Dean of Science, Technology and Health. “And there was tremendous support for this project from the Princeton and District Community Skills Centre and the community. Interior Health has been very co-operative and supportive as we put the plans together for this program.”
Read the press release for more information.
It's been a hard day's night:
overnight study session a success
The Penticton campus hosted the first Long Night Against Procrastination event overnight on Thursday, March 31. The aim of the event was to provide a venue for students struggling with end-of-term scheduling and time management challenges to access learning support and complete their assignments in a fun, supportive environment.
In total 47 students attended, 20 of which made it to the end of the night and celebrated with a “survivors' breakfast.” Students were supported with research, writing and citing help by faculty and staff from the English, Psychology, Criminal & Social Justice, the Library, and the Student Success Centre departments.
Hot drinks, snacks, and midnight pizza fueled the students’ essay writing and project work. Organizers also provided study breaks for students, including stargazing, yoga, prize draws and a movie showing. Faculty and staff were impressed by the diligence of the students, who worked through the night, and were still asking for help with papers at 6 a.m.
Multiculturalism celebrated in Salmon Arm
Nearly 200 community members, including representatives from three of the regional Bands, Inuit, and the Métis, gathered at the Salmon Arm campus to celebrate multiculturalism on March 23. Diversity and cultural heritage that enriches the Shuswap communities was honoured through traditional music, dance, and song performances.
A potluck luncheon saw flavourful dishes being served from around the world.
Aboriginal Services hosted the free event in partnership with the Shuswap Settlement Services Society, and the Thompson Okanagan Respect Network funded by Embrace BC.
Student ambassadors honoured at President’s Dinner
At the annual President’s Dinner held on March 31 in Kelowna, President Jim Hamilton recognized 145 students for being ambassadors of Okanagan College, noting that the students’ participation in events revealed admirable levels of commitment by these individuals and their instructors to the College’s community.
Student ambassadors participated and represented the College at 17 competitions and events across Canada this past year including, but not limited to, business case competitions, Skills Canada, computer programming events, and culinary battles. In many instances they earned podium finishes, and showcased the high-level of skills, training, and education they have received while studying at the College.
The evening of celebrating success included a sumptuous buffet feast prepared by the Culinary Arts students and Culinary Manager Chef Bernard Casavant.
Nominate outstanding alumni
Do you know an alumnus or alumna who has contributed in meaningful ways to the community? The Okanagan College Alumni Association (OCAA) is now accepting nominations for the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award and Young Alumni Award.
The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes alumni of Okanagan College and Okanagan University College for their demonstration of excellence in the areas of leadership, the environment, business or industry, public or community service, the arts, and/or support for Okanagan College.
The Young Alumni Award celebrates the outstanding contributions of an alumna or alumnus who is under the age of 35.
Nominations may be made by completing an online form by April 29. For more information, read the press release.
Joanne Gibbons-Smyth recognized
with provincial award
Joanne Gibbons-Smyth, the new chair of the Certified Dental Assistant department, was honoured with a Recognition Award by the Certified Dental Assistants of BC at the recent Pacific Dental Conference held in Vancouver. The award recognizes recipients for their exceptional service, demonstrated pride in what they do, and embodying the spirit of CDA professionals.
Joanne, along with colleagues Carrie Tepper and Catherine Baranow attended the award ceremony.
The Knockout Sharpshooters take first place
Laughter could be heard throughout the Mission Tap House in Kelowna on March 10 as teams of alumni, staff and students competed for intellectual dominance in support of Enactus Okanagan College at the inaugural “Are You Smarter Than—OC Edition” event.
Having built a strong lead right from the start, the Knockout Sharpshooters cruised to victory in the trivia competition. The team included Kathy Butler, Graham Moir, Tanisha Suzuki, Richard McAdam and Samantha Blandon. Kudos to the Copy Kats, who faced some serious opposition to secure the second place prize. In addition to being a lot of fun, the Alumni Association hosted event raised funds to support the Enactus Okanagan College national competition team’s travel expenses to Toronto in early May.
Biology student gets boost from Seed Library
Second-year Vernon biology student Carley Dolman received a $400 award from the Kalamalka Seed Library. She is recognized for excelling in her field of study, and for her keen interest in environmental sciences including a passion for botany, ecology, and biology.
Her instructor Laurie Donovan presented Carley with the award that was made possible by the Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security (a USC Canada and Seeds of Diversity Canada project). Carley aspires to a career in research and conservation.